• Lotus

New investment just a matter of time - Lotus

ESPN Staff
November 1, 2013 « Webber admits bad luck has been 'difficult' | Red Bull 'untouchable' - Rosberg »

Lotus is sure it will still secure investment from Quantum Motorsports even though the process is dragging on.

The team has been attempting to finalise the deal for over four months after an initial announcement was made in June that 35% of Lotus had been sold to the group, then called Infinity Racing. The investment is crucial for the future of the team as majority owners Genii Capital, led by Gerard Lopez, look to share the cost of competing in Formula One and get a return on their investment.

Without the investment finalised, the team's preparations for 2014 are in limbo as it assesses which driver to pick to replace the outgoing Kimi Raikkonen. However, Lopez says the deal will go ahead with time.

"We have preliminary agreements with the company we want to partner with, and we're just waiting for this to be concluded," he said. "This is a very detailed process. The history is that we decided to offer a minority stake to an investor. We consider this approach as the best way forwards, just like any other Formula One team.

"Deals like this do not move at the speed we're used to in Formula One and we're hopeful that we'll conclude it in the near future. With our current performance on track and the fact that there are very few Formula One teams that can offer an investment opportunity like we do we are constantly being contacted by interested parties, but for now we are pursuing our preferred option."

The slow progress of the deal was one of the reasons Raikkonen decided to leave for Ferrari and Lopez admits he is upset to have lost the 2007 world champion.

"For a long time we had the opportunity to keep him in our hands, but we weren't able to operate to the timeframe - or make the offer - that Ferrari were able to do. For me this brought sadness, as it's like prodigal son leaving us. When we signed him there was a lot of criticism and a lot of disbelief.

"There were some people who were saying that he still had it in him and that he was one of the best Formula One drivers out there, but at the same time there were many people who were saying that he couldn't do it, that he was overweight, this, that and the other. But we believed in him and he delivered big time. The only reason we're fighting for second in the world championship is because of all the points that Kimi has scored. We're doing everything we can to ensure Kimi and the team can continue to fight right up to the chequered flag in Brazil."

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